Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Letter 275- February 11, 1946

February 11, 1946
Giessen, Germany (Hesse)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I suppose you are about ready to murder me for not writing but you have no idea how busy I’ve been. Our vehicles aren’t working, we are in the midst of discharging about 250 DEF’s this week and God knows what else is coming up. We’ve got two new replacements here fresh in from the states but still there is more work to do with us. There’s some talk of giving us a Polish Guard Co. to manage. Boy, we sure hope not! Those Pollacks are a bunch of trigger happy jerks. They are drunk so much of the time that it’s a pity. I’d hate to get shot some night by one of those bums after all I’ve lived through. I don’t know though. Almost all of us here in this company will be going home before long and there’s not much sense in taking us out of here just for a couple of weeks. What I’m hoping that they do is just let us sit. Some companies have been doing that.

I think that you must have noticed the change in grade on the outside of the letter. That’ll mean a little more money and maybe a little better break while I’m on my way home. It took so long to get here that I really doubted that it would ever come through at all. The Lieutenant said that I’m now an officer, non-commissioned. That’s his idea of a joke I guess. It sure must have broken somebody’s heart to see me get that.

I’ve been getting shots for dyptheria for the last few days and as a result I feel pretty lousy. However, I’m glad that I’m getting them since dyptheria is rather prevalent around here at the present time and I’d hate to come down with it. A girl who lived down the street from here and who used to develop pictures for the fellows died with it only the other day. She worked for the American hospital and she received the best of treatment but I guess she just didn’t have enough pep to pull through. There is a lot of flu around to boot. Several people I know are down with it and everybody has at least a touch of it.

The weather continues to amaze everybody in Giessen. Every day it rains and the sky is always cloudy. In fact there are flood levels everywhere. Actually we haven’t had any snow since November and you can see for yourself how far north Giessen in situated. All the Germans claim that people would be feeling better if there were at least a little snow around.

I still have not received anything in the way of mail so I suppose that you are still getting your letters back. That’s what you said in the last letter I did receive. The trouble seems to be that there is more than one 1297 LSC in the theatre.

Well, that’s about all for tonight. I hope that you are feeling well.

Best Love,


Dear Folks,

Here is a picture of Hans Hauser our company interpreter. He is 17 years old and came into the Wehrmacht 2 years ago—some stuff, huh? He’s a good kid but we like to kid him about his superman expression in this picture. He’s one of those brats that always has a milewide grin on his kisser so he must have almost sprained his schnozzle for this picture.


(photo enclosed)-with inscription “in memory of our friendship in Giessen, Germany
Hans Hauser
CuLw/Schiessberg O.


  1. Hans is wearing some sort of Luftwaffe badge probably signifying that he is in a flak unit. To save manpower for the front the Germans drafted teenagers (12 year olds by 1945) to serve flak guns defending the fatherland. Pope Benedict was one such teenage crewmember. The "CuLw" notation may refer to his grade or classification.

  2. It certainly makes for a dramatic picture to see such a fresh scrubbed young boy wearing the swastika on his lapel. Bill obviously is fond of Hans and they have developed a refreshing friendship.

    As I was growing up my father sometimes talked of Germans he knew during the Occupation. More often than not he spoke positively of them.


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